Andrew Pelling MP stopped by cops for taking pictures of East Croydon cycle path

Your Local Guardian: MP Andrew Pelling MP Andrew Pelling

A Conservative Member of Parliament was stopped and searched by police under anti-terrorism laws after he was found taking pictures of a cycle path.

Andrew Pelling, MP for Central Croydon, was searched by police officers who thought he might be a terrorist, despite him showing his House of Commons pass when they asked for identification.

Mr Pelling had been taking pictures of the cycle lane at the junction of Addiscombe Road and Cherry Orchard Road and said his motive was to highlight the “long-neglected bicycle and pedestrian route”, which had been of concern to his constituents.

But, as police officers drove past they noticed his behaviour. Two officers then approached Mr Pelling and asked what he was doing as they believed he had been taking pictures of East Croydon train station.

He told the officers he was a MP and that he was taking the pictures for use in Parliament “to illustrate the dangers posed by the protracted maintenance works”.

Still suspicious, they demanded to see his ID, but even when Mr Pelling produced his House of Commons identification the officers were not satisfied.

They issued a stop-and-search notice and searched his bag, but after finding nothing of concern they left.

A police spokeswoman confirmed the incident on December 30 saying: “An officer stopped and searched a man’s bag in Cherry Orchard Road on December 30, under section 44 of the Terrorism Act. The officer conducted a stop-and-search – taking into account the current terror threat – as he was taking pictures in the vicinity of a major transport hub."

Mr Pelling said: “It is pleasing to see just how vigilant our police is at these times of heightened international political tension and the risk of terrorism here at home.

“I am glad my stop and search account as a white, middle-aged male shows that anyone can be suspected of, and questioned about, terrorism, regardless of race, creed or colour.

“This is another burden on the police when the key concern of combating knife killings is still an urgent call on local police resources.

“Despite what is said about the number of police officers being sufficient, I have real worries that the local command is awarded insufficient manpower resources in a town of dynamic change, which brings with it increasing policing needs.”

Mr Pelling is not the first MP to have been a victim of the Government’s anti-terror laws, with Conservative MP Damian Green controversially detained for several hours in December.

Comments (30)

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7:29pm Tue 6 Jan 09

ron duron says...





He does not look like a terrorist to me
He does not look like a terrorist to me ron duron
  • Score: 0

9:34pm Tue 6 Jan 09

ANNE GILES says...

No - he has a lovely, friendly smile. My husband and I take lots of photographs. It is our hobby. Could I possibly be searched by an attractive, male officer, please??
No - he has a lovely, friendly smile. My husband and I take lots of photographs. It is our hobby. Could I possibly be searched by an attractive, male officer, please?? ANNE GILES
  • Score: 0

9:30am Wed 7 Jan 09

scoffer says...

How right you are Ron - BBC's 'London tonite programme' has a special investigation tonight into the claim that Romanian citizens are working illegally in London using forged I.D. documents (can be bought for £150!!)... this makes a mockery of Britains defence against terrorism... it also blows holes in the liberals on here who spout that everything is under control in the U.K. and that 'people are carefully vetted' before being allowed to step on to British soil... total nonsense and balderdash!!, and we are seeing the whole British fabric of society crumbling before our very eyes unless we get a grip on those running rings around our system... of course, I don't have much faith in the present administration in power - does anyone anymore ? we've seen security at some of Britain's top Civil Service buildings being manned by illegal immigrants!! we are turning into a third world country by allowing people to cheat and beat the system so easily - security is very important to all of us for a stable society... let's see some joined-up thinking going in 2009!!
How right you are Ron - BBC's 'London tonite programme' has a special investigation tonight into the claim that Romanian citizens are working illegally in London using forged I.D. documents (can be bought for £150!!)... this makes a mockery of Britains defence against terrorism... it also blows holes in the liberals on here who spout that everything is under control in the U.K. and that 'people are carefully vetted' before being allowed to step on to British soil... total nonsense and balderdash!!, and we are seeing the whole British fabric of society crumbling before our very eyes unless we get a grip on those running rings around our system... of course, I don't have much faith in the present administration in power - does anyone anymore ? we've seen security at some of Britain's top Civil Service buildings being manned by illegal immigrants!! we are turning into a third world country by allowing people to cheat and beat the system so easily - security is very important to all of us for a stable society... let's see some joined-up thinking going in 2009!! scoffer
  • Score: 0

9:52am Wed 7 Jan 09

I hope not says...

How do you know what a terrorist looks like Ron - do please share with us what they look like.
How do you know what a terrorist looks like Ron - do please share with us what they look like. I hope not
  • Score: 0

10:04am Wed 7 Jan 09

scoffer says...

Err... pardon me I hope not... I think I know where Ron's coming from with this one!! but you are attempting a sly race card trick manoeuvre... Ron ? ignore it!! - a very cheap attempt to disrupt the thread!!
Err... pardon me I hope not... I think I know where Ron's coming from with this one!! but you are attempting a sly race card trick manoeuvre... Ron ? ignore it!! - a very cheap attempt to disrupt the thread!! scoffer
  • Score: 0

11:00am Wed 7 Jan 09

Hephaistos says...

If it was not for the needless bureaucratic requirements now imposed the officers could have used their intelligence and allayed their surprising suspicions in much less time just as they did years ago. Then they could have looked for more likely suspects or found something better to do. Preferably something which did not require them to use a pen pr pencil, if there is any such police activity which still exists.
If it was not for the needless bureaucratic requirements now imposed the officers could have used their intelligence and allayed their surprising suspicions in much less time just as they did years ago. Then they could have looked for more likely suspects or found something better to do. Preferably something which did not require them to use a pen pr pencil, if there is any such police activity which still exists. Hephaistos
  • Score: 0

11:01am Wed 7 Jan 09

NastyMrTom says...

How on earth does I.H.N's comment 'disrupt the thread' ?

It's a blindingly stupid comment from Ron. In the words of Mr Pelling himself ...

“I am glad my stop and search account as a white, middle-aged male shows that anyone can be suspected of, and questioned about, terrorism, regardless of race, creed or colour.

Thankfully we have a security service slightly less racist and more intelligent than some of the people who post on here.


How on earth does I.H.N's comment 'disrupt the thread' ? It's a blindingly stupid comment from Ron. In the words of Mr Pelling himself ... “I am glad my stop and search account as a white, middle-aged male shows that anyone can be suspected of, and questioned about, terrorism, regardless of race, creed or colour. Thankfully we have a security service slightly less racist and more intelligent than some of the people who post on here. NastyMrTom
  • Score: 0

11:07am Wed 7 Jan 09

Hephaistos says...

If it was not for the needless bureaucratic requirements now imposed the officers could have used their intelligence and allayed their surprising suspicions in much less time just as they did years ago. Then they could have looked for more likely suspects or found something better to do. Preferably something which did not require them to use a pen pr pencil, if there is any such police activity which still exists.
If it was not for the needless bureaucratic requirements now imposed the officers could have used their intelligence and allayed their surprising suspicions in much less time just as they did years ago. Then they could have looked for more likely suspects or found something better to do. Preferably something which did not require them to use a pen pr pencil, if there is any such police activity which still exists. Hephaistos
  • Score: 0

11:56am Wed 7 Jan 09

scoffer says...

The present threat from terrorism in the U.K. does not include white, middle-aged, men or women... get a life... instead of hiding behind political correctness - let's bury political correctness in 2009!!
The present threat from terrorism in the U.K. does not include white, middle-aged, men or women... get a life... instead of hiding behind political correctness - let's bury political correctness in 2009!! scoffer
  • Score: 0

12:14pm Wed 7 Jan 09

NastyMrTom says...


Oh really ? If I was a white Muslim with terrorist intentions I'd be walking past your security laughing wouldn't I.

This sums up your narrow minded thinking scoffer and shows us all once again that a bigot with a big head makes a lot of noise but talks very little sense
Oh really ? If I was a white Muslim with terrorist intentions I'd be walking past your security laughing wouldn't I. This sums up your narrow minded thinking scoffer and shows us all once again that a bigot with a big head makes a lot of noise but talks very little sense NastyMrTom
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Wed 7 Jan 09

I hope not says...

Actually Scoffer, the point that I was making was that in this day and age, anyone can potentially be a terrorist, just because someone doesn't have 'the look' does not mean that they do not have the potential to be one. You cannot expect them all to come packaged the same, because it simply isn't the case anymore. That was the only point that I was making, but feel free to argue with common sense.
Actually Scoffer, the point that I was making was that in this day and age, anyone can potentially be a terrorist, just because someone doesn't have 'the look' does not mean that they do not have the potential to be one. You cannot expect them all to come packaged the same, because it simply isn't the case anymore. That was the only point that I was making, but feel free to argue with common sense. I hope not
  • Score: 0

1:11pm Wed 7 Jan 09

scoffer says...

'The present threat from terrorism in the U.K. does not include white, middle-aged, men or women'... now pardon me... when, and where was the last person convicted of U.K. of present terrorism offences who was white, middle-aged, man or woman ? exactly - of course there will always be someone who has been brainwashed by extremists - but let's not go overboard - it's rather silly to go around saying we are all a potential threat... My own view for what it is worth is this - do any of you remember the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool a couple of years ago ? when an elderly gentleman member heckled the event and was arrested and detained by the police under the same anti-terrorism laws ? it's used as a stop-gap excuse for stopping someone who may ask awkward questions as to why they have been stopped in the first place... If you agree with being stopped and detained - fine - but I think most people realise that middle-aged white men and women do NOT fall into the profile of a potential U.K. terrorist at the moment.
'The present threat from terrorism in the U.K. does not include white, middle-aged, men or women'... now pardon me... when, and where was the last person convicted of U.K. of present terrorism offences who was white, middle-aged, man or woman ? exactly - of course there will always be someone who has been brainwashed by extremists - but let's not go overboard - it's rather silly to go around saying we are all a potential threat... My own view for what it is worth is this - do any of you remember the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool a couple of years ago ? when an elderly gentleman member heckled the event and was arrested and detained by the police under the same anti-terrorism laws ? it's used as a stop-gap excuse for stopping someone who may ask awkward questions as to why they have been stopped in the first place... If you agree with being stopped and detained - fine - but I think most people realise that middle-aged white men and women do NOT fall into the profile of a potential U.K. terrorist at the moment. scoffer
  • Score: 0

1:17pm Wed 7 Jan 09

NastyMrTom says...


Look at the case of Nicky Reilly for example.
Look at the case of Nicky Reilly for example. NastyMrTom
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Wed 7 Jan 09

Mr_Poletski says...

"....shows that anyone can be suspected of, and questioned about, terrorism..."

That's the scariest thing I ever heard.

I suppose it's better than shooting anyone dead on the tube.
"....shows that anyone can be suspected of, and questioned about, terrorism..." That's the scariest thing I ever heard. I suppose it's better than shooting anyone dead on the tube. Mr_Poletski
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Wed 7 Jan 09

scoffer says...

Oh was he the vunerable white young lad who blew himself up in some restauraunt after being brainwashed by muslim extremists ? yes he was white - with learning difficulties that some nasty people decided to use as cannon fodder... or is this someone else you've googled to try back up your silly argument ?
Oh was he the vunerable white young lad who blew himself up in some restauraunt after being brainwashed by muslim extremists ? yes he was white - with learning difficulties that some nasty people decided to use as cannon fodder... or is this someone else you've googled to try back up your silly argument ? scoffer
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Wed 7 Jan 09

Brian Sewer says...

This story is pathetic have the police got nothing better to do in croydon like catching killers
This story is pathetic have the police got nothing better to do in croydon like catching killers Brian Sewer
  • Score: 0

2:52pm Wed 7 Jan 09

NastyMrTom says...

scoffer wrote:
'The present threat from terrorism in the U.K. does not include white, middle-aged, men or women'... now pardon me... when, and where was the last person convicted of U.K. of present terrorism offences who was white, middle-aged, man or woman ? exactly - of course there will always be someone who has been brainwashed by extremists - but let's not go overboard - it's rather silly to go around saying we are all a potential threat... My own view for what it is worth is this - do any of you remember the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool a couple of years ago ? when an elderly gentleman member heckled the event and was arrested and detained by the police under the same anti-terrorism laws ? it's used as a stop-gap excuse for stopping someone who may ask awkward questions as to why they have been stopped in the first place... If you agree with being stopped and detained - fine - but I think most people realise that middle-aged white men and women do NOT fall into the profile of a potential U.K. terrorist at the moment.

when was the last time terrorists had hijacked passenger planes and flown them into buildings ?

The thinking 'it's never happened before' is just what a terrorist needs and exploits.

Let's hope that the Chechen , Balkan or any white Muslim convert (that's not to say that Islamic terrorism is the only potential threat) doesn't rise to the call of Jihad or scoffer will have to start re-thinking his racist little views
[quote][p][bold]scoffer[/bold] wrote: 'The present threat from terrorism in the U.K. does not include white, middle-aged, men or women'... now pardon me... when, and where was the last person convicted of U.K. of present terrorism offences who was white, middle-aged, man or woman ? exactly - of course there will always be someone who has been brainwashed by extremists - but let's not go overboard - it's rather silly to go around saying we are all a potential threat... My own view for what it is worth is this - do any of you remember the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool a couple of years ago ? when an elderly gentleman member heckled the event and was arrested and detained by the police under the same anti-terrorism laws ? it's used as a stop-gap excuse for stopping someone who may ask awkward questions as to why they have been stopped in the first place... If you agree with being stopped and detained - fine - but I think most people realise that middle-aged white men and women do NOT fall into the profile of a potential U.K. terrorist at the moment.[/p][/quote] when was the last time terrorists had hijacked passenger planes and flown them into buildings ? The thinking 'it's never happened before' is just what a terrorist needs and exploits. Let's hope that the Chechen , Balkan or any white Muslim convert (that's not to say that Islamic terrorism is the only potential threat) doesn't rise to the call of Jihad or scoffer will have to start re-thinking his racist little views NastyMrTom
  • Score: 0

3:32pm Wed 7 Jan 09

scoffer says...

Well, when middle-aged white men and women are convicted of islamic terrorism let's have the stop and search teams... police profiling know exactly who they are looking for - for there's one conviction for islamic terrorism stuff every nine days in the U.K. for the last couple of years - all of them never had a white middled-aged person involved!! getting warm nastyoltom ? need some more clues eh ? or is your rose tinted spectacles clouding your ability to think straight ? lmao!!
Well, when middle-aged white men and women are convicted of islamic terrorism let's have the stop and search teams... police profiling know exactly who they are looking for - for there's one conviction for islamic terrorism stuff every nine days in the U.K. for the last couple of years - all of them never had a white middled-aged person involved!! getting warm nastyoltom ? need some more clues eh ? or is your rose tinted spectacles clouding your ability to think straight ? lmao!! scoffer
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Wed 7 Jan 09

NastyMrTom says...


If suggesting that a terrorist threat can come from a person of any colour and age is me wearing 'rose tinted spectacles' then fair enough.

You're right that the police profiling know who they're looking for ... that's why they searched Mr Pelling.

What we need is you helping the authorities spot the threat ... is he brown ... does he have a beard ... that's your man then. I'm shocked they haven't contacted you already



If suggesting that a terrorist threat can come from a person of any colour and age is me wearing 'rose tinted spectacles' then fair enough. You're right that the police profiling know who they're looking for ... that's why they searched Mr Pelling. What we need is you helping the authorities spot the threat ... is he brown ... does he have a beard ... that's your man then. I'm shocked they haven't contacted you already NastyMrTom
  • Score: 0

5:41pm Wed 7 Jan 09

scoffer says...

That's a rather weak attempt at playing the race card oltom - when B.T.P. were stopping certain individuals on the transport network... after the London Underground bombings... they admitted they would not be stopping, 'little old ladies' to search remember ? oh guess not - I don't mind being stopped by the cops for whatever reason they say - just as lot's of other people don't complain when stop and search is stepped up for whatever crimes that are causing problems - Pelling's just paving the way for more stop and searches for the future... perhaps he knows a lot more than we do ? if there is a spate of muggings say for example in Wellesley Road - the cops know what type of individual to stop and search it's called, 'intelligence led information' remember ? oh guess not!! point scoring on here oldTom is a bit silly... try thinking of your glass as half full instead of always half empty on here!! lol
That's a rather weak attempt at playing the race card oltom - when B.T.P. were stopping certain individuals on the transport network... after the London Underground bombings... they admitted they would not be stopping, 'little old ladies' to search remember ? oh guess not - I don't mind being stopped by the cops for whatever reason they say - just as lot's of other people don't complain when stop and search is stepped up for whatever crimes that are causing problems - Pelling's just paving the way for more stop and searches for the future... perhaps he knows a lot more than we do ? if there is a spate of muggings say for example in Wellesley Road - the cops know what type of individual to stop and search it's called, 'intelligence led information' remember ? oh guess not!! point scoring on here oldTom is a bit silly... try thinking of your glass as half full instead of always half empty on here!! lol scoffer
  • Score: 0

6:10pm Wed 7 Jan 09

NastyMrTom says...


I don't understand your point in all that ... is there one ?

I can assure you from personal experience that the BTP stop white people and do not 'know who they're looking for'.

You seem to have decided that the only threat is from non-white Muslims which considering your views on everything else on here really isn't a surprise.

Thankfully neither Mr Pelling , the police or any straight thinking person agrees with you


I don't understand your point in all that ... is there one ? I can assure you from personal experience that the BTP stop white people and do not 'know who they're looking for'. You seem to have decided that the only threat is from non-white Muslims which considering your views on everything else on here really isn't a surprise. Thankfully neither Mr Pelling , the police or any straight thinking person agrees with you NastyMrTom
  • Score: 0

8:11pm Wed 7 Jan 09

scoffer says...

Changing the subject of why this M.P. was stopped... did anyone see BBC's London Tonite ? Romanians doing British workers out of jobs by pretending they were from Portugal (E.U. Member state country) this also poses a vast security threat to our country - false I.D. papers anf N.I. numbers... please contact Croydon's U.K. Border agency (U.K.B.A.) if you suspect illegal immigrants working - this was their advice to the viewers!! Happy New Year!!
Changing the subject of why this M.P. was stopped... did anyone see BBC's London Tonite ? Romanians doing British workers out of jobs by pretending they were from Portugal (E.U. Member state country) this also poses a vast security threat to our country - false I.D. papers anf N.I. numbers... please contact Croydon's U.K. Border agency (U.K.B.A.) if you suspect illegal immigrants working - this was their advice to the viewers!! Happy New Year!! scoffer
  • Score: 0

9:28pm Wed 7 Jan 09

ANNE GILES says...

I hope not wrote:
How do you know what a terrorist looks like Ron - do please share with us what they look like.
I've just been watching the "3.10 to Yuma" and the "baddies" always look "bad". Mr. Pelling looks like a "goodie" to me. On a serious note, however, one never can tell. Looks can be very deceiving.
[quote][p][bold]I hope not[/bold] wrote: How do you know what a terrorist looks like Ron - do please share with us what they look like.[/p][/quote]I've just been watching the "3.10 to Yuma" and the "baddies" always look "bad". Mr. Pelling looks like a "goodie" to me. On a serious note, however, one never can tell. Looks can be very deceiving. ANNE GILES
  • Score: 0

9:05am Thu 8 Jan 09

Bob Peel says...

Scoffer, Beckenham said, "... did anyone see BBC's London Tonight ?"

Certainly did Scoffer and very interesting it was too. Just goes to show what an open door the Country has for the world's ne'er do wells.

The other interesting programme last night was at 2130 on the benefit scroungers. The tariff on conviction was horrific, £75 fine for one and 1yrs stir for another.

Time to pay will be pound a week whilst the year wil become 3months in an open gaol somewhere close to home.

I suggest a good birching would solve the problems plus an enforced return to work....
Scoffer, Beckenham said, "... did anyone see BBC's London Tonight ?" Certainly did Scoffer and very interesting it was too. Just goes to show what an open door the Country has for the world's ne'er do wells. The other interesting programme last night was at 2130 on the benefit scroungers. The tariff on conviction was horrific, £75 fine for one and 1yrs stir for another. Time to pay will be pound a week whilst the year wil become 3months in an open gaol somewhere close to home. I suggest a good birching would solve the problems plus an enforced return to work.... Bob Peel
  • Score: 0

11:05am Thu 8 Jan 09

ANNE GILES says...

How about the stocks - and we could all throw rotten eggs at them??
How about the stocks - and we could all throw rotten eggs at them?? ANNE GILES
  • Score: 0

11:54am Thu 8 Jan 09

Hephaistos says...

This debate has concerned itself with 'who should be stopped and if necessary searched".
The fact that the bureaucratic requirements stop the police using their intelligence and wastes their time, and that the person who has been stopped, has not drawn comment.
Once they realise they had no reason to further delay anyone they stop the police should be free to let the person and themselves get on their way.
The data they record is useless as far as effective policing is concerned.
Recording it wastes police time and our money.
This debate has concerned itself with 'who should be stopped and if necessary searched". The fact that the bureaucratic requirements stop the police using their intelligence and wastes their time, and that the person who has been stopped, has not drawn comment. Once they realise they had no reason to further delay anyone they stop the police should be free to let the person and themselves get on their way. The data they record is useless as far as effective policing is concerned. Recording it wastes police time and our money. Hephaistos
  • Score: 0

11:54am Thu 8 Jan 09

Brian Sewer says...

This news story stinks
This news story stinks Brian Sewer
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Thu 8 Jan 09

scoffer says...

Brian!! And I heard on radio two today that an artist taking photo's at the Elephant and Castle was arrested and detained for half a day by cops misusing this anti-terror stop and search law!! is this going to stop terrorists ?
Brian!! And I heard on radio two today that an artist taking photo's at the Elephant and Castle was arrested and detained for half a day by cops misusing this anti-terror stop and search law!! is this going to stop terrorists ? scoffer
  • Score: 0

2:11pm Thu 8 Jan 09

ANNE GILES says...

scoffer wrote:
Brian!! And I heard on radio two today that an artist taking photo's at the Elephant and Castle was arrested and detained for half a day by cops misusing this anti-terror stop and search law!! is this going to stop terrorists ?
Perhaps they need more training.
[quote][p][bold]scoffer[/bold] wrote: Brian!! And I heard on radio two today that an artist taking photo's at the Elephant and Castle was arrested and detained for half a day by cops misusing this anti-terror stop and search law!! is this going to stop terrorists ? [/p][/quote]Perhaps they need more training. ANNE GILES
  • Score: 0

7:27pm Fri 9 Jan 09

Mich says...

I have read somewhere that terrorists don't really take photos of their intended targets - its just a technique used in films and TV to show the plot of the film. A quick search on Google will get plenty of photos of the station (and the Whitgift Centre among other possible targets)
I have read somewhere that terrorists don't really take photos of their intended targets - its just a technique used in films and TV to show the plot of the film. A quick search on Google will get plenty of photos of the station (and the Whitgift Centre among other possible targets) Mich
  • Score: 0
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